Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Time's Obsolete, Not the Constitution

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Time’s July 4th cover story about the United States Constitution, “Does It Still Matter?,” reveals more about the mindset of the liberal elite than it does about the Constitution. Actually, Richard Stengel, Managing Editor of Time, and author of the article, has some nice things to say about our Constitution. He ran the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia before becoming editor of Time, so he has some knowledge of our country’s basic law.

Yet, he starts off with the title: “One Document, Under Siege.” Why is the Constitution under siege? My Scribner desk dictionary defines siege as “surrounding of a fortified place by an army to compel its surrender; prolonged or persistent attempt to gain something.” Well, we know which Americans comprise the army that wants to defeat the Constitution: the liberal, progressive, socialist left. And why? Because the Constitution actually protects the rest of us from the left’s tyrannical ambitions.

Stengel then lists all of the things that have changed since the Founding Fathers wrote our basic law: DNA, airplanes, television, cars, and Lady Gaga. So what? The Constitution was written in such a way that it could never become obsolete. Indeed, America began to change very rapidly after the adoption of the Constitution: the steamboat, the railroad, the cotton gin. And the reason why the Constitution can never become obsolete is that it is a blueprint for a government based on immutable God-given principles and a Biblical knowledge of human nature.

Stengel writes: “The past decade, beginning with the disputed election of 2000, has been a long national civics class about what the Constitution means — and how much it still matters.”

Any imbecile knows that since the Constitution is the basic law of the land and that it creates the very form of government we live under, of course it matters very much. What kind of government would we have without it? Stengel states the problem:

“A new focus on the Constitution is at the center of our political stage with the rise of the Tea Party and its almost fanatical focus on the founding document.” He forgets what he wrote in his opening line: that the Constitution is under siege by an army trying to compel its surrender. Well, who are in the fort defending the Constitution against the liberal, progressive barbarians who want to tear down its walls? The Tea Partiers and their mentors and trailblazers, whose words of wisdom you have read in The New American and its predecessor — the old American Opinion magazine— for many years. They are strong, rational, patriotic defenders of the Constitution, not fanatical know-nothings.

Time’s editor continues: “If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so.” Yet, he admits that the separation of powers does limit what the federal government can do. He writes: “They created checks and balances to neutralize any concentration of power.” And, of course, the Bill of Rights was clearly intended to limit the power of the federal government over the lives of its citizens. The Bill of Rights was written to make sure that the government could not trample on the freedoms of its citizens.

Stengel then discusses the issues of our national debt and taxation. He reminds us that Congress has the power to tax. We all know that the federal government must be funded by taxes. But he doesn’t ask the question of how much federal government do we really need or want, and how much of it ought to be financed with borrowed money.

He writes in very strong terms: “But the idea that we can default on our debt is not only reckless it’s probably unconstitutional. No one is saying that the debt is wise and prudent — far from it — but defaulting on it flies in the face of one of the few absolute proscriptions in the Constitution, Section 4 of the 14th Amendment: ‘The validity of the public debt . . . shall not be questioned.’”

So when it comes to something in the Constitution that a liberal wants, he can cite chapter and verse. But he goes on to say: “At the same time, there’s nothing unconstitutional about the public’s debt exceeding the size of the GDP.” Yes, and there’s nothing unconstitutional about a President jumping off a cliff and taking the nation with him.

But Stengel makes a valid point in saying that the President has certain executive powers to avoid a default: “He could sell assets, furlough workers, freeze checks — heck, he could lease Yellowstone Park. And it would all be Constitutional.” Indeed, we’ve recommended that Obama sell off some of the millions of acres of land owned by the federal government in the Western states in order to pay off the debt. When people go bankrupt they are usually forced to sell their assets to raise cash.

Stengel then goes on to argue that Obamacare is Constitutional: “There’s nothing in the Constitution that restricts the government from asking us to do something or buy something or pay a tax —even if we don’t like it. . . . The Affordable Care Act [Socialized Medicine] may be bad legislation, as many contend, but that doesn’t mean it’s unconstitutional. There’s no law against bad laws. The remedy for bad laws is elections.”

And that is why a large number of concerned citizens have organized the Tea Party movement: to get rid of bad laws and the politicians who enact them. And that is why the presidential election in 2012 will be so crucial to the future of this country.

Stengel does finally admit that the Constitution does have some virtues even for liberals: “Two hundred twenty-three years after it was written, the Constitution is more a guardrail for our society than a traffic cop. The Constitution works so well precisely because it is so opaque, so general, so open to various interpretations. . . . But the framers argued vehemently about its meaning. For them it was a set of principles not a code of laws. A code of laws says you have to stop at the red light; a constitution has broad principles that are unchanging but that must accommodate each new generation and circumstance.”

In other words, the Constitution is really a pretzel, to be twisted and bent any way the public wants to “accommodate each new generation and circumstance.” Apparently, Mr. Stengel is content to retain the Constitution as a set of principles kept under glass in the government archives. We can occasionally refer to it, just to refresh our memories of what it actually says. Indeed, he clearly reveals his statist liberalism when he writes:

“[W]e cannot let the Constitution become an obstacle to the U.S.’s moving into the future with a sensible health care system, a globalized economy, an evolving sense of civil and political rights.”
In other words, we must not let the Constitution stop us from becoming a socialist state in the New World Order. And that is why Time magazine has ceased to be read by millions of Americans. It no longer has relevance as an objective news publication. It has simply become one of the slick mouthpieces of the liberal left.

Henry R. Luce, who founded Time magazine in 1923, was a Yale Bonesman who used his connections to launch what became a magazine empire. Time summarized and interpreted the week’s news with witty, adjectival writing. He then founded Fortune in 1930, in which he extravagantly celebrated American free-enterprise and the great business leaders who made it all happen. Today, Fortune is a shadow of itself. In 1936, he founded Life, a weekly picture magazine of politics and culture which sold by the millions until television made such picture magazines obsolete. In 1972 Life ceased as a weekly magazine, then became an intermittent publication, then a monthly, then a newspaper supplement.

When Luce died in 1967, an obituary stated:

Mr. Luce created the modern news magazine, fostered the development of group journalism, restyled pictorial reporting, encouraged a crisp and adjective-studded style of writing and initiated the concept of covering business as a continuing magazine story. . . .

He was a staunch Republican, a defender of big business and free enterprise, a foe of big labor, a steadfast defender of Chang Kai-shek, an advocate of aggressive opposition to world Communism. He was also an Anglophile, but he believed that “the 20th century must be to a significant degree the American century.”

Much has changed at Time since Luce’s death in 1967. It has been taken over by socialists who disdain the Constitution, who characterize Tea Party conservatives as fanatics, and who believe in the New World Order run by the corrupt United Nations. What would Luce think of his famous magazine today? He probably would want to shut it down.

The Internet and cable television networks have made most news magazines irrelevant. So, to justify their existence, they have become journals of opinion. Only one magazine in America has the courage to report and analyze the news from a purely Constitutional point of view, and that’s The New American. And it cannot become obsolete because the truth is never obsolete.

Related article: Time (Magazine) Flies off Course on Constitution 

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